Deadly student artists public and proud

A ‘Deady Arts’ exhibition featuring works from six students at Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School launched this week. Alyssa Terese reports.

Students holding paintings in front of a wall mural. Students holding paintings in front of a wall mural.
Image: Deadly artists from Nepean CAPA with some of their works that were displayed.

A new program from the NSW Department of Education’s Arts Unit encourages Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students to further develop their cultural understanding, while exploring contemporary arts practice in authentic and innovative visual ways.  

 Through the ‘Deadly Arts’ program, public school students create artworks under the guidance of professional artists and educators.

The artists involved in the program, including Blak Douglas, Chris Tobin and Trevor Eastwood, work with students to help them connect with their cultural identity through art. 

Western Parkland City Authority invited six Nepean Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA) High School students to produce a series of artworks to display in its head office for National Reconciliation Week from 27 May to 3 June 2024. 

A painted boomerang. A painted boomerang.
Image: One of the works on display for the 'Deadly Arts' exhibition.

Event coordinator and Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School Creative Arts Head Teacher, Prudence Rowston, said the showcase highlighted and celebrated the diverse and vibrant array of ‘Deadly Art’ talent at the school, while also promoting understanding, empowerment, community engagement and reconciliation.  

“In the spirit of inclusion, all Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander Nepean High School students were invited to create an artwork which nurtures a deeper connection to culture and heritage within the community,” Ms Rowston said.  

“Integrating the Deadly Arts into public government buildings further enhances public education by extending cultural awareness and appreciation beyond schools and into the broader community. 

 “Our hope is that more corporate spaces will also become Deadly Arts exhibition spaces, further enriching public understanding and appreciation of our Indigenous cultures.” 

 Nepaean CAPA student Hayley said she was excited her work was being exhibited publicly.  

“This exhibition gives me hope for more people to see my story. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to display my work outside of the school environment,” she said.  

Fellow artist Ella said the exhibition was a great opportunity to share knowledge and teach others.

“It means a lot to me to learn more about our culture and gives me an opportunity to educate others, including my younger brother,” she said.

“This program also gives me access to tools I don’t have at home to be able to create my art.”

 Information on the Nepean CAPA Deadly Arts program can be found on the Arts Unit Deadly Arts webpage at

Framed paintings on display. Framed paintings on display.
Image: Traditional paintings were among the works on exhibition.
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